Parenting

Stroller running strategies

Run-at-home mom blogger Jennifer Pinarski has learned there is no such thing as a quick run when your children are in tow

Not even Sesame Street and her favourite snacks could keep our daughter in the running stroller on a warm fall day.

There are many things I miss about my pre-children days (clothes without mysterious stains and using the express checkout lane at the grocery store), but above all I miss the days where I could run out the door for a run. Literally put on my shoes, go out the door and run. These days I need a more supportive bra, several minutes of hugs and kisses, more hydration and instructions and route details to Mr. P. And that’s if I’m only out for a short solo jaunt. The prep for a stroller run is much much longer with toys and blankets and snacks to be packed.

Most days, Gillian and Murphy are my running partners, and I’ve long blogged here about the challenges of wrestling the stroller and dog up and down our hilly rural roads. Sometimes the real battle is to keep our daughter happy in the stroller. At 21 months, she doesn’t mind sitting for runs under 30 minutes, but anything longer means I need to bring out the big guns — Sesame Street podcasts, Goldfish and if I’m desperate, fruit gummies. I can usually buy myself an hour with those favourite treats, unfortunately today wasn’t one of those days where she was content to be entertained by Murray and the rest of the Sesame Street gang.

My training plan called for an easy 8K but unfortunately half way into the run, Gillian was fed up with sitting still. No amount of bribery was getting her back into the stroller. While I really wanted to finish up my run, on a beautiful fall day like today (can you believe that it is almost the end of November!) I let her loose to play with Murphy, throw pebbles into the river that runs along our route and of course, run amuk like toddlers do. The middle of my run was spent playing tag, piggy backing and then ultimately carrying Gillian, pushing the stroller and walking with Murphy. We were quite the sight, but the silliness of being bounced on my shoulders cheered her up enough to settle back in the stroller for the last few kilometers. It wasn’t the run I planned on, but when an energetic toddler is involved, it rarely is.

I confessed using bribery, now it is your turn! How do you keep your children happy when you’re logging miles with a running stroller?